Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  55 responses

The Post Up: Harris Heave

While the Celtics look scary and Josh Smith gets screwed

by Holly MacKenzie

Good Morning Everyone. Hope some/most/all of you got to at least catch highlights of that Devin Harris miracle shot last night. Beautiful. Well, watching the ball sail through the net was beautiful, the fumble and stumble before it was released wasn’t.

A game-winner from halfcourt at the buzzer. That’s fun. It (along with the 41-point performance from Nate Robinson), made up for the rest of a night full of blowouts and less than thrilling matchups.

Bold statement from the Clippers announcers: “Since Christmas, there has only been one rookie of the year and he’s right here in this building.” I really, really like Eric Gordon, too, but really?

I’d pick Westbrook over Gordon at this point, too. Maybe that is because I’ve seen OKC play more than the Clippers though.

Speaking of the Clippers, Fred Jones is pretty fun. You all know I love a good story, and when a guy who has been out of the league working out and trying to work in another chance at his dream is able to turn a 10-day into being signed for the rest of the year (even if it is the Clippers), I’m rooting for him. Watching him go baseline for a beautiful throwdown last night was the icing on the Fred Jones cake. Love it.

And the Celtics are looking really scary lately, but please tell me, what is up with the insane amount of Boston fans in Denver? That was just weird.

I still can’t get over that shot from Harris.

I’ve gotta try to keep this short because I’ve got a busy, busy day ahead of me, starting with Raptors/Wolves shootaround this a.m.

I do need to mention that awful flagrant-2 call and ejection of Josh Smith last night in the Hawks/Jazz game. I didn’t even think the foul was a flagrant-1 let alone grounds for an ejection. Yes, Harpring fell hard, but it’s basketball. Sometimes that will happen. I hated that Harpring fell, jumped up and lunged at Smith and it was Smith and the Hawks who were punished.

I don’t know about that.

I do know that the Warriors losing to the Clippers isn’t fun.

New Jersey 98 Philadelphia 96

While this one was all Philly early, a 19-6 run from the Nets closed the gap and the second half was a back and forth affair that the Sixers had appeared to win when Andre Igoudala hit a free throw with 1.8 seconds remaining on the clock. While the Nets inbounded the ball to Devin Harris, who had the hot hand all night with 36 points, he fumbled the ball and had no choice but to heave it at the basket from halfcourt as the buzzer sounded. While the buzzer sounded, the ball sailed cleanly through the net and the officials had to spend a few minutes looking at replays to determine if the shot was good. Harris finished with 39 points and 8 assists as Keyon Dooling had 16 points off of the bench, including two three-pointers to cap off that 19-6 run in the second quarter. Igoudala led the Sixers with 24 points, Samuel Dalembert added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Andre Miller had 17 points and 10 assists in the loss.

Utah 108 Atlanta 89

There were another round of blowouts last night and this was certainly one of them. With Utah topping 30 points in each of the first two quarters, they led, 66-54 at the half and stretched their game into a blowout shortly into the third when they held Atlanta to only 17 points in the quarter. Things got chippy in the fourth when Matt Harpring went dow hard after a (clean), Josh Smith foul. Harpring hopped up and ran at Smith and had to be restrained by officials. The refs made the decision to eject Smith for the foul, calling it flagrant-2. By then, the game was already out of reach for the Hawks as Ronnie Brewer scored 19, Paul Millsap had 16 points and 12 rebounds in a bench role with the return of Carlos Boozer (2 points in 20 minutes of play), and Deron Williams added 15 points and 10 assists as well. Joe Johnson had 17 points for the Hawks as Al Horford added 14 points and Flip Murray scoring 13.

Boston 114 Denver 76

One night after losing a tough one to a shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks squad, the Denver Nuggets came home and prepared to face a Boston Celtics team that was without Kevin Garnett. Prepped or not, the Nuggets were no match for the Celtics who quickly picked up where they left off in Phoenix Sunday afternoon. While the C’s led by nine after the first quarter, they outscored the Nuggets 31-17 in the second and they had dashed Denver’s hopes by the half, leading, 60-37. Things only got worse in the second half and even when the Celtics cleared their bench, the Nuggets could not make up any ground. Boston connected on 14 three-pointers for the game as compared to only four from the Nuggets. Ray Allen had 26 points for the Celtics as Paul Pierce scored 22 and Rajon Rondo added 14/8/8 on the night. Leon Powe added 16 points off of the bench. JR Smith led the Nuggets with 19 points off of the bench as Carmelo Anthony had 18 and Johan Petro added 9 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

New York 123 Indiana 119

Playing without Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, the Pacers gave the Knicks their best shot, but simply could not hold them off in the second quarter when they started to heat up. Troy Murphy was fantastic for Indiana, finishing with 19 points and 21 rebounds and Jarrett Jack added 33 points, but when Nate Robinson started hitting his shots, he kept on shooting, helped the Knicks to a 42-point third quarter and finished with a season-high 41 on the night, enough to get his team the victory. Those 41 points came off of the bench. Al Harrington scored 27 points on the night and double-double machine David Lee added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Marquis Daniels added 28 points for the Pacers in the loss as the Knicks created more breathing room between the Pacers and themselves in the standings.

New Orleans 112 Sacramento 105

With Tyson Chandler back and good for 15 points and 10 rebounds in his return (to the game and to the Hornets), New Orleans were able to hold on for the 112-105 victory over the Kings. In the fourth with the Kings on their heels, it was the return of the CP3-TC alley-oop, times three. With Chris Paul scoring 12 points in the period and racking up the assists to finish with 13 ( to go with 27 points), the Hornets were able to grab a road win and take the shine away from Kevin Martin who finished with 32 points and scored 24 of them in the final period as he tried his best to lead his team to the victory. David West added 24 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists and Peja Stojakovic scored 18 on the night. Besides the 32 from Martin, the Kings received 17 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds from Francisco Garcia, 13 points and 14 rebounds from Spencer Hawes and 19 points from the new King, Andres Nocioni.

LA Clippers 118 Golden State 105

While the Clippers have been struggling mightily this season, they found a Monta Ellis-less Golden State squad at just the right time. As the Warriors try to adjust to life without Monta after just getting used to him being in the mix, the Clippers took advantage. Led by rookie Eric Gordon and former Warrior Baron Davis, the Clippers appeared to turn the game into a blowout in the third, but had an interesting fourth quarter as the Warriors came back to challenge LA until Davis hit a three to put the Clippers up 114-104 with 1:27 left in the game. The breathing room turned out to be enough as the Clippers used the clock and the Warriors ran out of time for the comeback. Davis finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists to go with 4 steals, just missing a triple-double. Zach Randolph scored 27 points to go with 11 rebounds in his return from a two-game suspension and Eric Gordon scored 27 points as well. The Warriors were led by Stephen Jackson’s 28 points, but only eight of those came in the second half. Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Corey Maggette added 10 off of the bench.

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  • ab_40

    devin harris his heave was a travle sorry

    josh smith sure as hell didn’t deserve a flagrant 2 on that one. but he was in the land of mormons so yeah they couldn’t send matt harpring away for trying to fight.

    and the celtics are scary… but they’re playing bad teams

    otherwise last night’s games weren’t noteworthy in the bigger scheme of things that is the nba season

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    To something to be said about peaking at the right time.

  • Andy

    Just how good has Nate been since All-Star?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    No Garnett, no problem. I suppose Nene being out helped some as well.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Andy

    In fact, if he keeps this up for the rest of the season, surely he has to be in the reckoning for Most Improved Player?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Justin Walsh

    Personally, I really can’t stand the overdone overstrict rule on tough fouls

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Andy

    Unfortunately, as with many sports these days, it’s all becoming non-contact.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Andy

    How stupid are the Hornets management going to feel, if CP3 and Tyson take them all the way to the finals? I’m not saying they will. But I’d love to be a fly on the wall for THAT moment.

  • http://Soulbanger.tumblr.com Tapion786

    The heave wasn’t a travel. He shot it trying to draw the foul and the ball bounced off Andre, Devin caught it again and threw it after taking one step.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Things that may never be seen again: Troy Murphy grabbing 21 rebounds; Jarret Jack scoring 33 points; Nate Robinson scoring 41 points. I hope Russ was at this game and took notes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Justin Walsh

    Nate will drop 40 again in his career, quote me on it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I’m a Hawks fan… Josh smacked Harpring in the face with his right hand. He deserved a flagrant something.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Tad, believe it or not 21 boards isn’t Murphy’s career high.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Right now my ROY ballot would go 1. Lopez, 2. Westbrook, 3. Rose. Gordon’s nice, but nah.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hmmm, well ok. It seems I need to brush up my Troy Murphy stats. Either way, I want some notes from this game.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Devin Harris was straight killing it yesterday, Lopez didn’t do much though. Eric Gordon is not going to win ROY becuase he’s a Clipper, but dude is a legit scorer in this league. He’s an underrated athelete (tested out better than Rose at almost every combine event, and was one of the best overall), a better shooter than Rose and far more atheletic than OJ. I’m not saying he’s any “better” than either of those guys, but he’s right with them.

  • http://iwantoutofokc.com/ James the balla

    Who own the Damani shoes? lol

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    Hip Hop made me do it

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    Devin Haris traveled like hell on the ‘miracle shot’

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Matt Harpring has done way worse than what J-Smoove did last night and hasn’t even gotten a flagrant 1 call. That was trash.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Congratulations player.

  • Myung

    I agree with Holly. I think the refs took it out on Josh because Josh was complaining a lot all night (especially about the “goal tend” on Boozer, which looked like a clean block to me). It was a hard foul; maybe it was even a frustration foul… but it wasn’t a flagrant. He was going for the ball, but I’m sure Josh added a little extra contact for Harpring on the play. It was NOT worthy of an ejection. It was a pretty bad call. Other than that, we got our butts handed to us last night once again (winning at Utah is not our forte, since we haven’t won there since 1993). I expect us to lose to Denver and limp home 1-4 from this West Coast trip… and then hopefully turn things around starting Friday against Miami.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    since i didnt watch the game, i will take Myung’s word for it since Myung is da man!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Whats up with Joe Johnson right now, Myung? I haven’t watched any recent games, but his box scores show a lack of energy. I mean, O rebounds and O assists last night? And he only got 12 shots up?

    I’m not sure if Denver or Atlanta or playing worse right now.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Myung…..you sound like the Heat will roll over for a win for your guys.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    the heat wont roll over, that would require too much work. Only Dwayne Wade will, and it will be a half roll over. Jermaine O’Neal will get 1/4th the way their, then his knees will give out.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    my comment is awaiting moderation!

  • Sparker

    no travel

  • Myung

    Ciolk, I think it’s fatigue? At 39.5 mpg, Joe is 3rd in the league in minutes played. When I watch certain teams on offense, I get really jealous because watching them play half court ball is a thing of beauty (Lakers, Spurs come to mind) or watching them play a run and gun style (Knicks, Warriors, the Alvin Gentry-Suns) is so energetic. When I watch the Hawks on offense, it’s basically just “give the ball to Joe, and everyone else just watches him.” I suppose the same can be said of Cleveland, but LBJ is obviously much better than Joe and the shooters he has around him are much better than the guys Joe can pass to. Bibby’s 3 point stroke has been fire this year, and Marvin has also become a more consistent scoring threat, but the offense still runs through Joe… and I think it’s just caught up with him lately. I’m not sure. Looking at his last 20 games or so, his fg % has been very poor (other than maybe 4 games during that stretch). He played in the ASG (and clearly had the worst game of any All Star this year), and the Hawks have started the 2nd half with a 5 game Western swing so none of that is helping matters.

  • Myung

    nah, eboy. I’m just saying, compared to playing AT Portland, the Lakers, Denver, and Utah (we beat the Kings at their place, but that’s not saying much), coming home and playing the Heat is a nice change of pace. I’m not saying we WILL win; I guess I’m saying I THINK we will win.

  • Dnice

    I guess with the Hawks down by 50 or whatever Joe was the first to sit down. They are only few points from possibly going 0-5 on this west trip.

  • Myung

    oh, and btw, eboy, if it makes you feel any better, i was in Vegas with my wife (celebrating our 1 year anniversary) when the heat and Hawks last played… and i took the Heat (that was the game when the hawks shot like 35% for the game). I’m sure Lang and Coco would never bet against the Hawks, so I’m pretty sure by me posting this up here on SLAMonline, I’ve lost some credibility as a Hawks fan. Sometimes, you got to separate your heart and your mind, right?

  • http://www.bbaxn.com Darksaber

    Tad, i remember Murph grabbing 20+ rebounds multiple times in his career (and earlier this season in that buzzer beating performance against the kobesters). He’s one of the league’s better boardhogs. celts beat nuggs by that much cause nene was missing? Guess what people, Celts were missing someone important too. That was an embarassing butt whupping for Enver (no D. Last night) at home.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    That was pretty insightful thinking of you, Myung! :)

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Yeah you do Myung. I’ll be in Vegas this Friday and will be hitting the Sports book all weekend.

  • Myung

    Don’t go too crazy, Ciolk. I can say though… that over the years, I’m up on Vegas in terms of sports betting… and down in terms of blackjack. I don’t know why I even mess with the tables…

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Murphy’s a lot like David Lee, except for his ability/tendency to shoot threes. I might get some notes up later, I’m still processing Nate’s Will Ferrell obsession (he went over to slap hands with him at least three or four times).

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    troy murphy is the most underrated player in the league. monster boards, efficient scoring, plus 3s.

  • Michaelbchnn

    Eric Gordon= Mitch Richmond

  • matt

    I didn’t think Smith deserved that flagrant until I saw a different angle of it and it looked brutal. Really.

  • Myung

    I think the FALL that Harpring took was a lot worse than the foul. It was clearly a foul and arguably a unnecessarily hard foul, but I just can’t see how it was a flagrant 2.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS


  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Murphy is essentialy DLee + a few threes and even worse defense. Tarzan might be conflating fantasy hoops with real ball. TMurder is an absolute beast in fantasy, and in reality a great rebounder and shooting big man, but a lot of Indiana’s defensive struggles can be attributed to his unwillingness to guard anyone in the lane or challenge penetration.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    At least as far as fantasy is concerned, Murphy is everything Rasheed Wallace should be. But I have only seen one Pacers game this year so I’ll take y’all’s word for it about his defense.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Myung, nothing wrong with betting against the home team, I’ve done it before too in football.

  • Myung

    What, there’s a way to circumvent the issue of rooting against your home team: make a first half bet. I’m not sure if every casino has that option (I think the sports book at Planet Hollywood doesn’t; I know the one at MGM does). That way, you can pull for the other team in the 1st half and pull for your team to win the game for the last two quarters, and everyone’s a winner. Of course in that particular Hawks-Heat tilt, the Hawks made no effort of coming back in the 2nd half. It was the ugliest performance of the season (other than that embarrassing loss at home to the Clips).

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Troy Murphy’s biggest problem is he moves like an arthritic rhinocerous. He could get called for a three-second violation on a fast break.

  • christian

    Eric Gordon over Westbrook all day. Westbrook is a better passer, but Gordon is a better one-on-one defender and has the same ability as Westbrook to get to the rim….plus he is a far better shooter, and by far better I mean FAR BETTER…. is range is unlimited as showcased by a 6 for 7 performance from behind the arc last night.

    He averaged 21 a game in January w/ 4 assists and 38% from 3

    He is averaging 20 a game here in February on 46% from 3.

    He has scored in double figures 30 straight games now.

    In his head-to-head performance against Westbrook he outscored him 41 to 9 leading his team to victory….

    He’s been the best rookie the past two or three months now, ahead of Rose, Mayo and Westbrook.

  • http://hot_sauce_is@hotmail.com RUTAX

    NATE ROBINSON!!!!!!most under rated player in the NBA………just for his size….cum on now…hes even questioned by some as a dunker….any guy under 6ft who can dunk is THE MAN!!!!….who else under 6ft is putting up those numbers???????

    imagine if he was Lebron James height and size????

    NOW THATS SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://hot_sauce_is@hotmail.com RUTAX

    by the way..that shot by harris was for the AGES!!!!…he fumbled and got it back….

    …he didnt even try to flop for a foul….just got the ball back and shot it

    …good D by IGUADALA by the way

  • Justin

    You guys forgot about Joe johnson who basically hit harpring with a fist on the hawks inbound play the play before Josh smith was ejected and Smith didn’t go for the ball if harpring had went up hard we would be having the discussion of whether smith deserved to be suspended for multiple games because harpring would be in the hospital

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    My man NATE needs some ink in the mag SLAM!
    Dude has more than hops now, he can truly play! Please get ‘er done!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, the Harris shot was a miracle play. That was brilliant.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    A tough foul should NOT be a flagrant 2 if its not intentional, as weird as that might sound.
    After all, what’s the point of fouling if you aren’t going to make sure the player doesn’t score?
    In the days of the hardcore Knicks with the Oak Tree and the Ant, Josh Smith would never have gotten ejected. Ah well.

  • don

    Devin Harris continues to spell STUPID as C-U-B-A-N.